When I think back to the flavours of my childhood in India, I think of cardamom. Cardamom in rice pudding, chicken curry, carrot halva and the pot of ‘chai’ tea my aunts would gather around on a cool, wet monsoon afternoon. I remember accidentally biting into a cardamom pod in a dish and the avalanche of flavours that would ensue – flowers, pepper, citrus – their intensity surprising at first, then familiar, comforting even. I also recall cardamom making an appearance when I was under the weather. Cardamom concoctions with honey, ginger and basil were touted as a cure for colds, coughs, stomachaches, nausea – the list was long! Typical of many spices, cardamom straddled our household’s kitchen and medicine cabinets.